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A while back on the Chasing Joy Podcast, my guest Robyn and I started chatting about our morning. She shared that lately, rather than trying to be hyper-productive she’s been allowing her mornings to unfold slowly. Sometimes that looks like sleeping in, sometimes it looks like making pancakes on a Wednesday. While she still has to be at work at a normal time, her mindset was totally different. Just because it was a weekday, her morning could still be slow and luxurious. It was like every morning had the same ease and flow of a Saturday.
It’s pretty much the opposite of what most mainstream health and self-improvement sites will tell you. We’re constantly bombarded with 17 ways we can be more productive in 5 minutes. It’s kind of exhausting just thinking about it. It feels like most sources agree that doing more means feeling better.
However, Robyn’s approach struck a chord. It struck a chord with me and with so many of my listeners. It made me realize there is another way. In fact, the reality is there’s no right or wrong way to have a good morning at all. So I want to offer an alternative to they hyper speed, super productive morning. I call it the slow mindful morning.
Today I wanted to share a couple things:
- why mindful mornings are just as powerful as productive ones
- my personal favorite ways to practice the slow mindful morning
- & how I slow down with a coconut matcha latte made with Encha Organic Matcha
Why Mindful Mornings Are Powerful
One of my favorite mindful/productivity/self-improvements tools is reverse engineering. I’ve also heard it called “starting with the end in mind.” You probably have already figured out exactly how to do it just by hearing the phrase. Simply put, the best way to get your desired outcome is to be super clear about your desired outcome.
I know it sounds almost too obvious. However, when we get in our routines, habits and in our own ways it’s so easy to plow forward without considering what our real objective is.
You can reverse engineer your morning by figuring out how you want to feel at the end of the day and when you start working.
For me, a successful day looks like getting tasks achieved and more importantly it’s enjoying my day while I work. I realized that being productive for productivities’ sake is like trying to run as fast as possible in a hamster wheel. You’re running super fast but are you getting anywhere? Nope.
I know I love to work. I know I’ll be working my whole life. Why not enjoy it? Crazy idea right?
I want to end the day feeling satisfied and joyful. During the day I want to feel focused, energized, and joyful.
With those things in mind, I can now figure out how to start my day in a way that will set me up to feel all those things. I’ve learned over time that I don’t like to feel rushed, that I like teetering between routine and spontaneity, that when I make my own rules I love to break them and when something feels like a “must-do” I’ll avoid it.
Create a Morning You’re Excited to Wake Up To
With that self-awareness and data, I realized that trying to get the hardest thing done first or doing a tough workout first thing would make me want to stay asleep. Instead, I want a reason to get out of bed. I want a morning that is filled with ease and clarity.
The coolest thing is that when you focus on how you want to feel, you’re not constrained by time. You could have 15 minutes or 2 hours. Once you know how you want to feel you can find something that fits into that time slot. It’s not about the actives themselves, instead, it’s about finding a way to get into the right mental space.
That’s why slow mornings have power. If your goal is to move through the day with ease, focus, and clarity, then starting your morning with a mile long to-do list or tons of activities that are jarring and stressful on your mind and body then you’re setting yourself up for a day full of rushing and stress. When we put so much pressure on our weekday mornings to be efficient and productive just because they’re weekdays we kind of miss the whole point. Why not start the day the same way you’d start a Saturday. The mindset is everything.
My Favorite Mindful Morning Practices
I’m sharing some of my personal favorite ways to start off in the morning and how they effect my energy and mood. These tools are to serve as inspiration, not a prescription. Give ‘em a try or don’t. It’s totally up to you and how you want to feel. I also know that what works for me might not work for you and visa versa.
So simple yet so hard. Right? If I have my water bottle filled and by my bed, then I’m pretty good to go. Having a cute water bottle is a great reminder because you’ll actually like looking at it. Also, strangely enough making sure your water bottle is one that’s easy to drink from is also key. I find if the opening is too big I just spill all over myself and don’t drink enough. Silly right? But if I like the cap/opening thingy I drink way more. Water for me is a constant practice. I do find if I’m on a roll my skin is brighter and I feel more focus.
2.) Coconut Matcha Latte Recipe made with Encha Matcha
This has been one of my favorite morning additions. I like to have a drink with a combo of fats and protein to get me going. Lately I haven’t had much appetite in the morning, so knowing I can blend this creamy dreamy drink up and get going without worrying too much about making breakfast helps me a lot. I especially love matcha both in the morning and afternoon because it gives a jitter-free boost of calm energy.
I’ve tried a bunch of different matcha brands and Encha Organic Matcha by far is my favorite. If you like matcha you know it naturally has that earthy slightly bitter taste. Encha has that earthy flavor without too much of a bitter aftertaste. I’m not a food scientist by any means, so the best way I can think of describing the flavor and feel is that it’s just more flavorful and smooth. I’ve been using the latte grade, which is perfect for drinks like the coconut matcha latte. I’ve also tried their ceremonial which is ideal when you want the matcha without any extra milk.
If you want to learn more about their matcha and watch their super helpful videos for how to whisk you can check out their website here.
Coconut Matcha Latte
- 1 tsp of latte grade matcha
- 6 oz. of hot water
- 1-2 tbsp of coconut milk
- 1 scoop of vital proteins collagen
- 1/8 of a tsp of maca powder
- honey or maple syrup to taste
- Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth
3.) Organizing my space
Something about the ritual of clearing and tidying our little cottage just gets me in the right head space. If there are dishes in the sink or stuff on the floor I can’t get to work. I think even the act of cleaning helps reset and refresh my mind. Nothing makes me more excited to work than a clear clean desk.
4.) Avoiding my phone
This one is a constant practice. I’ve gotten good at not going into email until the afternoon, yet Instagram is still a strong tug. I do find the days that I don’t scroll or watch tons of stories before I get to work I just feel more clear, focused and me. It’s amazing how little things can effect your mood.
Once I’m trying to work and want to really focus I try to put my phone in the other room. When I do this, especially while writing and really focusing I can work so much faster.
5.) A short walk
Fresh air is magic. So is moving your body. I’m in a season of life where I don’t have tons of structured exercise and I’m loving it. When I get a chance to go for a long walk I feel really invigorated. I get my best ideas outside on walks. I like to take a little one the morning and I’m working on incorporating a long one into lunch time.
It’s funny how the excuse in my head is often that I don’t have time. First of all, it’s just not true, and secondly, even if I was pressed on time, getting fresh air always makes me more focused, creative and productive afterward, so it’s really like creating time.
Sometimes I’ll throw on tunes, sometimes a podcast depending on the mood.
6.) Music & Intention Setting
This is my half way point towards creating a regular meditation practice. I love the idea and totally believe in meditation, however, I’ve just really struggled to make it stick. Lately, I’ve been putting on 1 song and trying to focus on 1 intention for the day. I move/dance/stretch and try to stay in the energy of that intention. This mindfulness tool definitely helps get me into that positive mental state that makes work fun and exciting rather than overwhelming and stressful.
Other Ideas & Tools For a Mindful Morning
Here are some things I’ll do occasionally that I enjoy and might help with your mindful mornings too
- Intention setting with crystals
- Diffusing essential oils
- Space clearing with palo santo
- Doing a quick online yoga video
- Making a fun “weekend” breakfast like pancakes
- Listening to positive inspiring podcasts
I’d love to hear from you what your favorite morning rituals are and how you create a morning that sets you up for a joyful day.
Thank you to Encha Organic Matcha for sponsoring this post